herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

UCD's Collie O'Neill celebrates historic win and arrival of third child

Collie O'Neill
Collie O'Neill

IT WAS a double celebration for UCD manager Collie O'Neill when he welcomed his third child only hours after the team's Europa League success.

The manager touched down in Dublin at around 2am, only hours after UCD progressed through their Europa League qualifier in Luxembourg.

And he was just in the nick of time as he was needed at the Coombe maternity hospital shortly afterwards.

Collie's wife, Jenny, gave birth to their third child, a boy they have named Carl, at 5.45am.

"So good of my wife to hold on until I got back from Luxembourg," he joked on social media.

Collie, from Churchtown, was late in joining his players yesterday as Jenny was overdue, meaning he arrived in the duchy at lunchtime.

UCD lost 2-1 on the night against F91 Dedelange at the Stade Jos Nosbaum for an aggregate 2-2, but booked their place in the next round on away goals.

The achievement was all the more remarkable as the Dubliners played nearly an hour of the match with 10 men after left-back Sean Coyne was sent off in the 28th minute.

Their historic progression will earn the student team €210,000 to add to the €200,000 they secured for qualifying.

The arrival of baby Carl has been a running joke for the manager and followers of the club throughout the season.

During the tournament draw last month, Collie tweeted: "Please don't be Nefrici PFK (Azerbaijan) or I'm going to have an interesting conversation with my nine months' pregnant wife."

Fans are hoping the new addition to the O'Neill family will act as a lucky mascot for the team as they face the second round of matches.

Next week, Collie will lead them to meet Slovak side Slovan Bratislava.

It remains to be seen if the newest O'Neill will follow his dad into the world of football, but his family certainly have form.

His granddad was a coach with Home Farm when they were a League of Ireland team.

Congratulations for the popular manager, who works as an IT consultant, and his wife flooded in this morning as they shared their happy news with family and friends.

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